- - Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Zuma gives aid to Cuba

JOHANNESBURG | South African President Jacob Zuma announced a $30 million credit package for Cuba and forgave Cuba’s debt to South Africa during a state visit to the island nation, a decision his opponents criticized Wednesday.

Mr. Zuma also said Cuba would get trading credits to import South African goods.

The aid includes seeds and fertilizer to support agriculture in the aftermath of Cuba’s 2008 hurricane and a grant from the African Renaissance Fund, which promotes good governance and cooperation between South Africa and other countries.

South African government officials said they aim to boost trade and investment between the two countries, which fell to $144,000 this year from $12 million in 2008.

South Africa’s main opposition group, the Democratic Alliance, said it thinks improved relations with Cuba would offer little to South Africans or to the country’s economy.


Two killed in desert drug raid

NOUAKCHOTT | Mauritanian troops in the desert bordering Mali killed two men and captured seven during a raid on drug traffickers wanted for trading with al Qaeda, the army said Wednesday.

“After clashing with members of this gang, our unit killed two men and captured seven others, including one who was seriously injured,” the army headquarters said in a statement about Tuesday’s raid.

A highly placed military source said Tuesday that the head of the gang was a Malian wanted by police in several countries for “drug trafficking and trade with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).”

According to experts, AQIM fighters — based around the borders of Algeria, Mali and Mauritania — guarantee the passage of convoys of cocaine and heroin destined for Europe in return for profits.


Tunisians jailed for links to Islamist movement

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